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China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO

BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 28: Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization, (L) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, on January 28, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Naohiko Hatta - Pool/Getty Images)

Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. It repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately” and said its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive, and beyond words.” But behind the scenes, there were significant delays by China and considerable frustration among WHO officials over the lack of outbreak data, The Associated Press has found. China sat on releasing the genetic sequence for more than a week and stalled on sharing critical epidemic details with WHO throughout January.